On behalf of Engineers for a Sustainable World,
We would like to wish YOU, the graduating class of 2020, a much-deserved congratulations on your fantastic achievement!
From the very first day you walked into school, wide eyed, full of wonder, and learning EVERYTHING for the first time, you were on a journey. A journey full of discovery and experiences that helped form you into the person you are today, and the person you will become in the future. And indeed, all those long years full of assignments, tests, class schedules, amazing highs and amazing lows, led you to this moment…your long-awaited graduation. But…your graduation is different.
This year, there will be no stage to walk across. No view of family and friends seated next to each other in the audience. No pictures of you hugging all those so near and dear to you. No…this year, YOUR graduation, is different. In fact, this year, the entire world is different…
We…all of us…has been affected by an unseen intruder. This pest has disrupted our lives, has taken us from our routines, and yes, has forced your graduation and indeed the world, to be different. And that, may very well be the best graduation gift you could ever receive.
You see, you are not the only graduating class who will go out into the world facing an existence that seemingly transformed overnight…no, you are in good company. Many others have faced similar challenges that befell the world and transformed it in such a short amount of time…
For every tragedy we have endured, it is the strength and perseverance of the human spirit that has led us through and led us to amazingly happy times as well. It has always been people just like you…those who have taken on a challenge and have seen it through, that have helped us to always move forward. To live. To THRIVE, even in the face of what seems like an insurmountable obstacle, the power of the human will has ALWAYS won out. And that is why, while your graduation is different than many in the past, it just may be a gift in disguise.
In decades to come, how many of us will be bringing up memories of a graduation that was…NORMAL? Everyone walked across the stage, was handed their diploma, threw up their caps at the end, sure, that tradition is nostalgic, and will likely persevere. But in reality, the graduation that will be talked about, the graduation that will be remembered, will be YOURS.
The graduation year that saw friends rely on technology to build deeper bonds as our images on a screen and messages on a text were oftentimes all that we had to rely on. A year that forced us to view each other wearing masks and unable to touch but knowing we all shared the same challenges together. A year that saw birthday parties take on a new life as friends and family showed up in front of houses in cars to honk, wave, and yell our wishes to show how much we cared. And yes, while your on-site school year was cut short, our friendships and love for each other was not. It will be THIS year that will be remembered…it will be THIS graduating class that is talked about.
It will be you, the graduating class of 2020, that will help re-shape the world in which we live. Your decisions, your ideas, and your dedication to the challenges we all now face that will affect the world, and we know that the results will be amazing. The world has changed, and it will be up to you to help lead us through some scary and certainly uncertain times. But we have faith and we have hope that we are in good hands and together, we will all share in many more exciting, hopeful and happy times in the years to come.
Congratulations class of 2020 on your amazing achievement, and on this, what will become, and incredibly memorable graduation year!